Library of Congress

Law Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Law Library > News & Events > Global Legal Monitor

Egypt: State Litigation Authority Rejects Request to Suspend a TV Show

(May 22, 2015) On May 19, 2015, Egypt’s State Litigation Authority rejected a petition submitted by Al Azhar (the main religious institution in Egypt) to suspend a television program. The petition accused the show’s host of deliberately criticizing religious symbols and influencing Muslims to doubt their beliefs. (A Memo of the State Litigation Authority Rejects […]

Turkmenistan: Pardoning of Conscientious Objectors and Military Service Law Amendments

(Mar. 23, 2015) In February 2015, Forum 18 News Service published a report saying that for the first time for many years, “there are no longer any Jehovah’s Witnesses convicted and imprisoned in Turkmenistan as conscientious objectors.” (Felix Corley, Turkmenistan: Two Amnestied Prisoners, Conscientious Objector in Hospital, Beaten “Wahhabis,” FORUM 18 NEWS SERVICE (Feb. 18, […]

Russia: Bill Approved to Allow Foreign Organizations to Be Declared Undesirable

(Feb. 24, 2015) On January 20, 2015, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (the lower chamber of the legislature) approved on the first reading a draft law that amends several legislative acts regulating the activities of foreign and international organizations working in Russia, including religious ones. (Bill No. 662902-6, Russian legislative database (in Russian) […]

Russia: Registered Clergy May Be Allowed to Meet with Prisoners

(Jan. 6, 2015) On December 9, 2014, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (lower chamber of the legislature) approved on the first reading legislation that amends the country’s Correctional Code to allow prisoners to communicate with members of the clergy. (Bill No. 614607-6, Duma legislative database (Dec. 9, 2014).) If passed, the law will […]

China: Designation of Sanctioned Places of Worship in Online Database

(Dec. 30, 2014) On December 26, 2014, at a national conference on religious work, Wang Zuoan, the director of China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA), announced that SARA will make public a list of officially registered Buddhist and Taoist worship venues, by means of a government-created online database. The purpose of disseminating the list […]

Russia: Religious Orthodox Classes Will Be Taught in Public School Buildings

(Nov. 26, 2014) On November 24, 2014, the Russian daily newspaper Kommersant reported that according to Moscow City Council Member and Chair of the Moscow City Board of Education Nina Minko, the Russian Orthodox Church has been granted the right to use public school buildings when classes are out, without paying rent. (Aleksandr Chernykh & […]

Indonesia: Aceh Province Bans Daytime Food Sales During Ramadan

(July 7, 2014) The Wilayatul Hisbah, or Shariah Police, of Aceh Province, an area of Indonesia that applies Islamic law, have forbidden sales of food during the daytime during the month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. They have applied the rule from 5 am to 3 pm, and to everyone, […]

Indonesia: Media Restrictions for Ramadan

(June 30, 2014) As reported on June 24, 2014, the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (Komisi Penyiaran Indonesia, or KPI) has issued a circular to remind television broadcasters not to show material deemed inappropriate for the month-long Islamic holiday of Ramadan or to turn the holiday into a marketing opportunity. (KPI Wants Sex and Violence Off the […]

Burma; United Nations: Experts Oppose Draft Law on Religious Conversion

(June 26, 2014) On June 20, 2014, independent human rights experts from the United Nations asked Burma not to go ahead with a proposed law that would restrict religious conversion in the predominantly Buddhist country. The proposal would make conversions difficult by creating a process of application and approval for those wanting to change faiths. […]

Australia: High Court Strikes Down Government Funding of School Chaplains

(June 23, 2014) On June 19, 2014, the High Court of Australia (the highest court in Australia) ruled unanimously that the federal government’s funding of the national school chaplaincy program was invalid under the Australian Constitution. (Williams v Commonwealth of Australia [2014] HCA 23 [Williams (No.2)]; Case S154/2013: Williams v. Commonwealth of Australia & Ors, […]